Expedition Team Directory
Browse our directory of expedition team members who will join us on upcoming expeditions.
- Expedition Leader
- Undersea Diving
- National Geographic Photography Expert
Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it. He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions. José has guided extensively in Panama and is a certified naturalist with Costa Rica’s National Learning Institute (INA). Aside from birding, José has led general natural history trips for leading conservation and wildlife organizations, and has recently gained experience leading soft adventure and multi-sport trips for young adults and students. Recently, José particularly enjoyed leading a group of student volunteers working in a rural community. In the off-season, he works as a photographer and pursues his passion for people and wildlife photography. José has also worked as a Photo Instructor in the Galápagos aboard the National Geographic Endeavour , in the Amazon of Peru on the Delfin II , and in the Mediterranean aboard the Sea Cloud . He really looks forward to share the experience that he has gained in Central, South America and the Mediterranean with Lindblad-National Geographic guests, as well.
Dennis has spent more than half of his life working with Lindblad Expeditions. He first studied biology in the Sonoran Desert. It was his work with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum that brought him into contact with Sven Lindblad. Dennis was working with sea turtles in Mexico, desert tadpoles in southern Arizona and evaluating various legume trees for arid lands agriculture throughout the Sonoran Desert. Sven asked him if he would be interested in working on a ship as a naturalist in Baja California… a simple ‘yes’ turned out to be perhaps the most important decision he ever made! At first, life as a Lindblad naturalist, working during the winter while on break from university, exploring Baja California while guiding and lecturing, was a positive feedback loop for his academic goals. Spending time with guests, who possessed incredible amounts of life experience and enthusiasm, soon eroded Dennis’ dreams of a career in Academia. However, during this time he earned a master’s degree with a thesis on the reproductive strategies of Sonoran Desert toads and a PhD with a dissertation on the mechanical design and biogeography of columnar cacti (large cacti including the saguaro and the cardon). For almost 40 years Dennis has explored and learned with Lindblad. At first in the Sonoran Desert, then the temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska, the topical rainforests of South America and Oceania and many, many other places: dry to wet, hot to cold. As his world experience increased, so did Dennis’ interests… from reptiles and amphibians, to flowering plants, insects and other invertebrate and lichens. He also worked for 15 years as an Undersea Specialist diving and making videos from Antarctica to Svalbard to Papua New Guinea. Now he is out of the water and on the tundra, so what next? With Lindblad Expeditions there is no limit with the whole world to choose from!
David has worked for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1993 on six continents and in over 65 countries. David is interested in many of the natural sciences, particularly ornithology, geology and marine biology; he most enjoys contrasting the broad perspectives provided by world travel with detailed investigations of local ecosystems on land and in the sea. David is an avid wildlife and landscape photographer and enjoys shooting with DSLRs, compact cameras and his iPhone. He particularly focuses on photography of wildlife in habitat, macro images of insects and abstracts images of patterns and textures. Before joining Lindblad-National Geographic, David worked as a staff field biologist and education coordinator at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, an independent research institution in California. At PRBO David studied songbirds, seabirds, owls and elephant seals while overseeing a broad education program, which included classes for school-children, workshops for professional biologists and interpretation for the general public. His home, which is completely off the grid, is at the crest of the Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon. He received his Photo Instructor certification in a multi-day training workshop. Developed and taught by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions photographers, the workshop helped him develop additional insight and skills necessary to help you better understand your camera and the basics of composition — to better capture the moments at the heart of your expedition.
Bud received an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at Colorado State University. He then immediately went to Alaska where he worked and lived for 30 years. At the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Bud studied wildlife biology and received a master's degree conducting research on four species of alcid seabird nesting on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. For a number of years he worked as a research biologist studying various fields, including moose/habitat relationships, songbird populations in relation to succession, tundra bird populations and migration, and woodpecker populations after natural forest fires. Since 1983, Bud has worked as a naturalist and expedition leader with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. During these years he has traveled in the Arctic and Antarctic, temperate and tropical regions of Central and South America, Atlantic Ocean crossings, and the western South Pacific. These numerous voyages over the years have given him a chance to appreciate diversity of life and cultures which he finds fascinating. In addition to traveling, Bud is an avid natural history photographer and his wife writes children’s books on natural history illustrating them and using Bud’s photographs. Having built their own super-insulated house in Fairbanks over a 20 year period, in 2003 they relocated their family to northern Colorado. They are in the process of being owner/builders of a new energy efficient passive solar home in the foothills above Fort Collins.
Born and raised in the tropical country of Ecuador, Lucho is a passionate naturalist that has been working for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 1998. With a marine biology background, he started as a naturalist in the Galápagos Islands in 1994. Since then, he has filled numerous roles with Lindblad-National Geographic, such as naturalist, undersea specialist and expedition leader in the Galápagos Islands, Costa Rica and Panama, and Baja California. Currently, Lucho spends much of the year traveling the world aboard the National Geographic Explorer. Working for Lindblad-National Geographic has given him the opportunity to explore remote locations from the Arctic to Antarctica and everything in between, while the opportunity to lead and explore the Amazon has only increased his passion for evolutionary biology and the understanding of how biological communities interact in such a complex ecosystem. During his time off, Lucho enjoys traveling and spending time getting to know the vast National Park system in Ecuador. Holding a dive master's license, he tries not to let a place pass without exploring the underwater ecosystem - he considers Antarctica to be the wildest place he has ever been able to dive! He also enjoys writing nature articles for a major newspaper in Ecuador, as he strongly believes that nature can only be protected when it is fully understood and appreciated by its inhabitants.
Mike learned early on that the best way to escape Ohio was to become a marine biologist. During college at Wittenberg University he attended a semester at Duke University's Marine Lab — that time only confirmed his love for all things oceanic and maritime. After graduation, Mike promptly moved to Catalina Island in California where he taught marine biology to school kids. Since 1999, Mike has been working and traveling chasing his three loves: marine critters, photography, and birds. Before joining Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, Mike spent one and a half years as the resident biologist at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, a renowned vacation destination in the South Pacific. His days were filled with a great combination of guest education, research, environmental projects, and local school children education. Mike has also worked in the Amazon of Peru and Ecuador, the Pribilof Islands of Alaska, the cloud forest of Costa Rica, and the kelp forests of Victoria, Australia. When not working, Mike enjoys underwater photography, searching for endemic birds, and sunset chasing. He received his Photo Instructor certification in a multi-day training workshop. Developed and taught by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions photographers, the workshop helped him develop additional insight and skills necessary to help you better understand your camera and the basics of composition—to better capture the moments at the heart of your expedition.
Carl Erik Kilander
Carl was born in Norway and received a master’s degree in forestry and nature conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 1973. His professional experience is mainly connected to environmental issues and natural resource management on the Norway mainland and in Svalbard. A major part of his professional experience comprises planning and management of protected areas, particularly in the southern parts of Norway and Svalbard. During the period 1999-2001 Carl was Head of the Environmental Department at the Governor of Svalbard´s office. He has also been District Manager (southwestern Norway) followed by the position of Senior Environmental Adviser at the Norwegian State Forest Service. During the late part of his career, Carl worked as a Senior Adviser at Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO), mainly dealing with law enforcement, monitoring, and public relation tasks connected to more than 100 protected areas in Vest-Agder County (southernmost Norway). During this period he has also been leading various projects. During one such project, 2011-2014, Carl was involved in the planning and successful eradication of 6,700 “Norwegian” reindeer on South Georgia. This British-Norwegian project was managed by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI), and Carl had a key role in the preparation phase. During the field operations 2013-2014 he assisted GSGSSI’s Project Manager as liaison and leader of the Norwegian team of reindeer herders and marksmen. Carl characterizes himself as a naturalist with broad interests. He particularly favors bird watching and nature photography. Carl has had annual assignments for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic since 2003, joining expeditions to Norway’s fjords, Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland, South Georgia, the Falklands, and Antarctica.
Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez. Michael has since begun a new career in marine photography. He worked with National Geographic dolphin researchers in the Bahamas throughout the nineties, as well as running trips to the Silver Banks in the Dominican Republic to study and photograph Atlantic Humpback Whales. Today he is an award-winning photographer who specializes in intimate portraits of marine animals. He has traveled the oceans of the world in search of the world's most magnificent beings. His photography has appeared in hundreds of magazines, calendars, and books in over 45 countries worldwide. He currently "migrates" with the whales, spending his winters in the warmer tropical latitudes where whales mate and give birth and his summers in the cooler higher latitudes where animals migrate to feed.
Born in Denmark, award-winning photographer Sisse Brimberg has produced and photographed more than 30 stories for National Geographic magazine over the past 40 years, covering a wide range of subjects--from the Hanseatic League and the Vikings to the global flower trade and the prehistoric cave art of southwestern France. As contributing photographer for National Geographic Traveler , she shot various city stories in Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Casablanca, Oaxaca, Saint Petersburg, and beyond. Having photographed in more than 70 countries across the globe -- from Cape Verde to the Azores, and Antarctica to the Arctic -- she enjoys sharing her love of photography with travelers. Brimberg has earned first prize honors from the prestigious Pictures of the Year International (POY), and her images have been exhibited around the world in Germany, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, New York City (International Center for Photography), and Washington, D.C. (The Newseum).
Wade Davis is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 2000 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” An ethnographer, writer, photographer and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among 15 indigenous groups while making some 6000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller later released by Universal as a motion picture. In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunavut and Greenland. Davis is the author of 375 scientific and popular articles and 23 books including One River (1996), The Wayfinders (2009 ), Into the Silence (2011) and Magdalena (2020). His photographs have been widely exhibited and have appeared in 37 books and 130 magazines, including National Geographic, Time, Geo, People, Men’s Journal , and Outside. He was curator of The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey of Richard Evans Schultes , first exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. In 2012 he served as guest curator of No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in the Modern World , at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. He was curator of Everest: Ascent to Glory , Bowers Museum, February 12-August 28, 2022. National Geographic has published two collections of his photographs, Light at the Edge of the World (2001) and Wade Davis: Photographs (2018). His 40 film credits include Light at the Edge of the World , an 8-hour documentary series written and produced for the National Geographic. His most recent film, El Sendero de la Anaconda , a 90-minute feature documentary shot in the Northwest Amazon, is available on Netflix. A professional speaker for 35 years, Davis has lectured at over 200 universities and 250 corporations and professional associations. In 2009 he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures. He has spoken from the main stage at TED five times, and his three posted talks have been viewed by 8 million. His books have appeared in 22 languages and sold approximately one million copies. Davis, one of 20 Honorary Members of the Explorers Club, is Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and recipient of 12 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, the 2015 Centennial Medal of Harvard University, the 2017 Roy Chapman Andrews Society’s Distinguished Explorer Award, the 2017 Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, and the 2018 Mungo Park Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2018 he became an Honorary Citizen of Colombia.
Gaby was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Her first job in the Galapagos was on board a 90-passenger cruise ship as the cruise director’s assistant, and she fell under the spell of the Enchanted Isles. She returned to Guayaquil to study at the Espiritu Santo Technological University to obtain a degree in Tourism Management. Her fascination for the islands was still strong so, after finishing her studies, Gaby took the opportunity to join the Naturalist Guide’s course, jointly organized by the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station. That was back in 1992, and she has been a naturalist since, keeping her deep love and passion for the islands during all these years. In recent years Gaby was closely involved in the logistics and organization of a two-year conservation program, which brought international teams of volunteers to help in the eradication of aggressive introduced plants –a serious threat to local ecosystems- in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The program was coordinated with the Charles Darwin Research Station under the seal of approval of the Galapagos National Park Service. Gaby is a certified National Geographic Field Educator, and she combines her work as a naturalist with motherhood, teaching her children Emily and Danny to know and care about their very unique birthplace. Gaby and her family moved to the United Kingdom a few years ago, and with the kids now reaching university education, she commutes back to her beloved islands several times a year. Being based in the UK makes it easy for Gaby to practice the languages she is fluent in: English, Spanish, French and German. In her time off, Gaby is a self-taught artist, and she is always seeking to learn new arts and crafts techniques, her favorites currently being paper crafts and watercolor media.
Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries. She has come to realize, however, that she is never happier than when outdoors, surrounded by the unique and pristine environment of the Galápagos Islands. Although she has now been guiding for over 14 years, she never ceases to be amazed by the ecological innocence of the Galápagos wildlife and the daily surprises presented by Mother Nature on each visit. Vanessa lives in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, and is the proud mother of an 11 year-old boy named Luke. Together they share hobbies such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, reading, and astronomy. Vanessa feels incredibly fortunate to be able share this piece of heaven on Earth with others, and she is very happy that her job is also her favorite hobby!
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